第三章--The First of the Secrets(11-17)

上一篇 / 下一篇  2008-10-04 15:57:24 / 个人分类:小说翻译

11.
As a little girl, I had always been afraid of the faces, and was terrified to find them staring at me when I woke in the middle of the night. My fear was not alleviated when Primus (so he was called at the time) told me sternly that inanimate objects could not hurt anyone.

作为一个小女孩,我总是害怕那些脸,每当半夜醒来发现他们盯着我都会被惊吓.当普里默斯(那时候他叫这个名字)严厉地告诉我没有生命的东西不会伤害任何人也没有减轻我的恐惧.


It was little Quartinus (Colin) who saved me. One day when he was playing sick, he sneaked from the infirmary, and stole nail enamel from the boudoir of Miss Daw, who was our music teacher, a fair-haired woman of ethereal beauty with skin as clear as fine porcelain. He then went out to steal a ladder from Mr. Glum’s shed. Somehow he carried a ladder all the way up three flights of stairs in midday without being seen, and all the way to the girls’ dorm.

是小夸特努斯(科林)救了我.一天他假装生病,然后偷偷地从医务室溜出来,在德沃小姐的闺房里偷了指甲油,德沃小姐是音乐老师,是一个有着漂亮的头发和像瓷器一样精致的皮肤的女人.然后他去格罗姆先生的工棚里偷了一张梯子.不知道他是怎么做到在正午偷偷把梯子抬过三层楼梯和整段到女生宿舍的.


There he was, balanced precariously eleven feet high, painting the noses red on the ugly metal faces, crossing their eyes, giving them moustaches and goatees, and he had managed to deface six out of the seven goblins when Mrs. Wren walked in and caught him.

然后他在十一尺高的地方摇摇晃晃地把那些丑陋的金属脸的鼻子涂上红色,在它们眼睛上画叉,并画上胡子,当瑞文女士走进来抓他的时候,他正打算丑化七个小妖怪中的第六个.


He was punished by being sent to his room without supper. I smuggled him part of the tuna fish casserole we had for dinner, wrapped up in my skirt. At that time, of course, the ash tree outside the North window gave me easy access to the ground. I tied the skirt in a bundle and threw it through the window of the boys’ dorm. Quartinus thanked me the next day, but he never returned the skirt.

他被罚关禁闭而且不准吃晚饭.我用裙子里偷偷包了一点我们在晚餐上吃的金枪鱼带给他.那个时候,当然,北面窗口外的白腊树让我们很容易就能到外面.我试着把鱼用裙子包着从男生宿舍的窗子里扔进去.夸特努斯第二天感谢了我,但是再也没有还给我裙子.

I asked him why he defaced the goblins. He told me: “Your fear gives them energy. When you see them as stupid-looking, though, you get energy from them.”

我问他为什么他要涂抹那写小妖怪.他告诉我:"你的恐惧给了它们力量.当你用看傻瓜的眼神看它们,你就可以它们那里获取力量."


Whatever the reason, it worked. They always looked silly to me after that; all except the one on the far end, whom little Quartinus had not gotten to.

不管原因是什么,它确实有效.从那以后它们在我看来总是很蠢;除了最边上那个,小夸特努斯还没来的及涂.

12.
Vanity stood with her cheek pressed to the stones, her eyes closed, as if she were listening intently. She motioned with one hand, pointed to the long-handled candle snuffer which (we assumed) had been in the room since before the candelabra had been electrified.

12.

瓦妮特脸贴着墙站着,闭着眼睛,就像她在专心听着什么.她摇了摇手,指着(我们认为)在烛台被换成电灯之前留在屋子里的长柄烛花剪.


I handed her the pole, and she put the hook end (used for lighting candles) in the mouth of one of the gargoyle faces. It was the one at the far end. She tugged.

我把烛花剪递给她,她把带勾的一头(用来点蜡烛的)伸进一张怪兽脸的嘴里.是最边上那张脸.她用力拖.


With a sigh and a click, a section of stone moved forward and then swung out, revealing a secret passage beyond.

随着一声叹息和滴答一声,一块石头向前移动了一段距离然后向外打开,露出一条秘密通向外面的通道.


“That’s impossible!” I said, flabbergasted.

"不可思义!"我目瞪口呆地说道.


The door was small and square, no more than three feet by three. The stones, which had seemed so thick and sturdy, were merely an eighth-inch of shaved granite face affixed to a wooden door.

那是一扇方形的小门,只有不到三平方英尺大.那些看上去如此坚厚的石头,仅是贴在木门上的一块八英寸厚的花岗岩.

The door was set to the frame with sets of hinges of a type I had not seen before: each hinge was riveted to a second and a third, to form a little metal W-shape. The triple hinges unfolded like an accordion when the door was opened, allowing the door to move directly out from the wall for a half-inch, before swinging to one side. This also allowed the door to swing outward, even though the hinges were on the inner side.

那扇门固定在一个门框上,门框上有一副我以前从来没有见过的铰链:每根铰链都和第二,第三根铆在一起,形成一个小金属的W形.当门打开时,三个一组的铰链就像手风琴一样折叠在一起,当要把门关上时,门可以从墙上向外移动半英尺.这样即使铰链是在朝里的一面,门也能朝外打开.


The crawl space beyond had a floor of unpainted, unvarnished wood, and narrow walls of brick. The three-foot ceiling was curved in an arch. It looked like a chimney lying on its side.

另一面的管道地板是没有漆过的木板,两边是窄窄的砖墙.三尺宽的天花板弯曲成拱形.看上去像一个横放着的烟囱.


“When did you find this?” I asked Vanity. I was kneeling, with my head in the door, and she was peering over my shoulder.

"你什么时候发现这个的?"我问瓦妮特.我跪着,把头伸进门里,她从我的肩膀上探着头看.


“During the summer, after Mr. Glum chopped down the Great Escape Tree. I would check for panels every night. I could only find it, for some reason, if it was the thirtieth or thirty-first of the month. Weird, huh? I bet it’s on a timer.”

"夏天的时候, 当格罗姆先生砍倒大逃生树之后.我每个晚上都检查面板.由于一些原因,我只能在每个月的最后一天找到这个.不可思义,是吧?我打赌它是由一个记时器控制."


I turned on my knees to look up at her. “Dr. Fell gives us our injections on the first of the month.”

我跪着转过身来抬头看着她."费尔医生在每个月的第一天为我们注射."


She blinked at me, her wide, emerald-green eyes brimming puzzlement. “What has that got to do with anything?”

她惊愕地看着我,她那大大的,鲜绿色的眼睛充满了迷惑."和那有什么关系?"


Now I knew how Victor felt about me when I asked a question about something he thought obvious.

现在我知道维克托对我的感受了, 当我问一些他觉得很明显的事情的问题时.


I nodded toward the dark hole: “Where does it go?”

我朝黑洞点了一下头:"它通向哪里?"


“I was never able to get a light in here. If you follow the lefthand wall through two turns, you come out near the clock in the Main Hall. There are two other ways I never explored.”

"我从来没能在里面点灯.如果你顺着左手边的墙壁走,拐两个弯之后,就可以在大厅的钟附近出现.还有两条路我从来没有走过."


“Left? You mean right, surely?”

"左边?你是指右边吧,确定吗?"


“Just go as I tell you.”

"照我告诉你的走就行了."


We crawled in the pitch dark. My fingers felt occasional spiderwebs or splinters along the dusty wood floor. Once or twice I banged my head against the brick ceiling, and was glad for the humble protection of my aviatrix helmet.

我们在伸手不见五指的黑暗中爬行着.我的手指在布满灰尘的地板上偶然会碰到蜘蛛网或蜘蛛.有一两次我的头撞到了天花板的砖块上,并庆幸我的飞行员头盔有一点点保护作用.


The stale air was warm and close, and I was grateful for the warmth on a cold night like this. Once or twice I heard a noise: it sounded like the rumble of breakers.

这个陈旧的地方温暖有狭窄,在这样一个寒冷的夜晚,我很感激这样的温暖.有一两次我听到了声音:听上去像是下水道的轰鸣声.


“I hear the sea,” I whispered over my shoulder.

"我听到了海的声音,"我扭过头小声说到.


Her voice sounded very close in the pitch darkness. “Some trick of the acoustics, I doubt not. Like a whispering gallery. Maybe there is a tunnel which leads down to the sea cliffs . . . ?”

在黑暗中,她的声音听上去就在耳边."声学的一些骗局而已,我怀疑那不是.就像回音走廊一样.也许这是里有条一直向下通向海崖的隧道....?"


“Ow! I found where the wall ends. It goes left and right.” I was glad I had bundled my hair into a cushion under my cap. I took a moment to adjust my goggles so they rode atop my head. Another extra inch of leather and glass might mute the next skull impact.

"噢!我发现墙的终点在哪了.它转左再转右."我庆幸我把头发扎在了帽子下面.我花了一会儿调节了一下护目镜,把它顶在头上.这样可以更厚一点的皮革和玻璃可以在下一次撞头的时候减轻一些疼痛.


“Take the left-hand way.”

"往左走."


We turned left, which was impossible. By my reckoning, that would take us further East than the East Wing.

我们转向了不可能的左面.以我估计,那会让我们去到比东翼更远的东边.


At the next fork, we turned left again. By my reckoning, this should have put us in the middle of the North Lawn.

在下一个岔路,我们又走了左面.以我估计,这会把我们带到北边的草坪中央.


“But how on earth did you get the notion to look for it in the first place?”

"但是,首先,究竟是什么让你产生去寻找的想法."


“Sometimes, in the night, I would get the feeling I was being watched,”Vanity explained. “So I figured there was a peephole.”

"有时候,在晚上,我感觉我在被人盯着,"瓦妮特解释说."所以我认为那里有一个窥视孔."

I thought that if there was a peephole, Mr. Glum might be using it, to watch us when we doffed our clothes before bed. I didn’t say anything, for fear of frightening her.

我认为如果那里有一个窥视孔的话,可能是格罗姆先生弄的,用来偷看我们上床前脱衣服.为了不让她害怕,我什么也没有说.


There came a tapping noise ahead, regular and rhythmic, like the noise of a sentry, in metal boots, pacing.

前面发出一连串也规则节奏的敲击声,像是岗哨穿着金属鞋子走路的声音.


“What’s that?” I hissed.

"那是什么?"我悄悄说.


Vanity ran into my bottom. “Oh, you! It’s the clock. Just keep on. We’d better hurry.”

瓦妮特撞到了我的屁股上."噢,你!那是钟.继续走.我们最好快点."


But the noise unnerved me, and I did not hurry. Instead, I put one cautious hand in front of another. And I was glad I did, for my forward hand suddenly felt nothing.

但是那个声音让我紧张,我没有赶快走.反而,我小心地将一只手移到另一只前面.我庆幸我这样作了,因为我移到前面的一只手没有摸到任何东西.


Was I poised over a brink? I felt around in the air, and encountered a wooden step a few inches below, and another below that.

我已经爬到了边缘了么?我感到暴露在空气中,前面几英尺下面有一级木台阶,台阶的下面还有另一个.


We were at the top of a stairway. I squirmed around so that I could go down feet first and, keeping my other hand on the stone overhead, I found that the ceiling did not drop as the stairs did but drew away as the stair descended. The ticking now was very loud; it seemed to come from directly ahead.

我们在楼梯的顶部.我蠕动着转过身,这样我就能先把脚伸下去,并把我的一只手放在头顶的石头上,我发现天花板没有随着楼梯降低.现在滴答声变得很大;感觉声音就像从前头直接传过来一样.


The stairway was only five stairs long, dropping just enough so that, by the last step, Vanity could stand upright, and I had to stoop.

楼梯只有五阶,下降的高度已经足够了,以至于在最后一阶时,瓦妮特可以站直身体,而我只能弯着腰.


There was a surface before me. In the dark, I could not tell what material it was, except that it was smoother than stone. It could have been wood, but it was so cold it felt like metal.

我前面有一层东西.在黑暗中,我不知道它是什么材料,除了感觉它比石头光滑.它可能是木头,但是摸上去又像金属一样冷.


“Now what?” I whispered.

"现在呢?"我小声说.


“There’s a switch, I suppose,” she said.

"我猜这里有个开关."她说.


“You suppose? How did you get out this way before?”

"你猜?你以前怎么从这里出去的?"


“I suppose I found a switch.” And she crowded up against me in that little space, tighter than a phone booth. I could hear the soft noise of her hand fumbling along the panel.

"我猜我找到了一个开关."她在那个比电话亭狭小的空间中把我挤开.我能听到她的手在面板上摸索的轻微声音.


“You don’t remember?”

"你不记得了?"


“I think I wasn’t exactly awake last time I did this. You have to be in the right state of mind. Sometimes it’s hard to remember nighttime thoughts during the day.”

"我想我最后一次做这个时候没有完全醒来.你必须保持正确的精神状态.有时候在白天很难记住晚上的想法."


“You think? What do you mean you think you weren’t awake?”

"你想?你想你没有醒来是什么意思?"


“Well, how else do you explain the fact that you never saw me searching for the panel with a ten-foot pole in my hand every night before we went to bed? Now, hush!”

"好吧,除了这样你怎么解释你从来没有见过我每天晚上上床前拿者一根十尺长的杆子在面板上找东西?现在,安静!"

“This is ridiculous—!”

"这很荒谬--!"


“Just be quiet! Don’t think you are too old to be spanked!”

"安静!你不认为你已经太老了不适合打屁股了么!"


“I’m taller and stronger than you, and I don’t fight like a girl.”

"我比你高也比你壮,我打起架来可不像一个女孩."


“I’ll get Colin to do it. You’d like that.”

"我会让科林打你屁股.你喜欢那样."


I was so shocked that I actually did shut up. I was glad it was dark; I could feel my face burning.

我是如此震惊,立刻闭上了嘴.我庆幸现在是在黑暗中;我能感到我的脸在发烧.


A crack of light appeared. Vanity pushed the panel aside.

一丝亮光出现了.瓦妮特推开了面板.

13.
This was about four feet tall and a little over a foot wide. A metal blade, tipped with a weight, swung past, inches from our faces.

13.

这大约有四尺高和一尺多一点宽.一块金属刀片从我们脸前几英尺的地方划过.


I tried to shrink back, but Vanity and I were pressed up together too closely. She made an annoyed noise in her throat. I blinked and looked again. Blade? We were looking out at a pendulum, swinging back and forth, back and forth.

我试着后退,但是瓦妮特和我在一起挤得太紧了.她喉咙里发出一声烦恼的声音.我眨了眨眼又看了一眼.刀片?我们正面对着钟摆,摆来摆去,摆来摆去.


Beyond that was a pane of dusty glass, blurred with age. On the other side of the glass, moonlight fell across carpet, heavy chairs, two mannequins in Norman helm and mail carrying pikes.

钟摆前面是一块很长时间没有擦过的,脏兮兮的玻璃.玻璃的另一面,月光照在地毯上,重椅子,戴着诺曼底头盔,穿着鳞甲,拿着长矛的假人.


This was the Main Hall. We were in the grandfather clock, looking out.

这里是大厅.我们正在落地摆种里面,面朝大厅.


Vanity whispered, very quietly, “The watchers will notice if the ticking stops. We have to slip past the pendulum without touching it, and get to the main doors and outside. Ready?”

瓦妮特非常小声地说道,"如果钟的滴答声停下来会被看守人注意到.我们必须闪过钟摆不碰到它,然后从大门出去.准备好了吗?"


I would have pointed out to her that, as a matter of mathematics controlling such things as volumes, moving bodies, and areas swept out by pendulums, that two girls (four-and-a-half and five-and-a-half feet tall, respectively), cannot turn sideways, and climb out of a one-foot-wide box, open the inner latch of a rusted antique clock, and get clear in the time it takes for a three-foot pendulum to swing back and forth once. Not to mention that there were weights and chains hanging in front of us as well.

我想对她指出,从数学上来说,两个女孩(分别是4英尺5英寸和5英尺5英寸高)不可能在一个三尺长的钟摆来回摆动的间隙,穿过钟摆扫过的区域到达另一边,然后再爬出一个一英尺宽的盒子,打开一个生了锈的古董钟的内部插销.更不用说我们前面还悬挂着砝码和链条.


But I did not get the chance. Vanity was already thrusting herself through the narrow opening. The pendulum jarred against her arm, of course, while she was yanking the latch free to open the glass panel of the clock.

但是我没有机会.瓦妮特已经从那个狭小的空间穿了过去.当然,在它用力拉插销打开钟的玻璃面板时,钟摆撞到了她的手臂.


The ticking stopped. The silence was enormous.

滴答声停了下来.深深的安静.


“Quick!” she hissed.

"快!"她小声喊道.


But we were not quick. We had to move the now-still pendulum aside, squeeze her out, squeeze the somewhat taller me out, and fumble with the pendulum to see if we could get it into motion again . . .

但是我们没快起来.我们必须把静止的钟摆移到一边,让她挤出去,并让更高一些的我也挤出去,然后笨手笨脚地看我们是否能把钟摆在弄动起来...


Tick tock. We could. The noise started up again. “Yeah!” cheered Vanity.

滴答.我们作到了.声音又响了起来."耶!"瓦妮特欢呼道.


I closed the cabinet door. “Quiet! We’re trying to be quiet!”

我靠近橱柜."安静!我们得保持安静!"

“Well, you’re making all the noise saying ‘quiet’!”

"好啊,所有的声音都是你在说'安静'!"


We both heard Mr. Glum’s voice, in the distance, querulous.And footsteps.

我们都听到了格罗姆先生在远处发牢骚的声音.还有脚步声.

14.
There was a drapery that hung before the alcove of a window opposite, between the two mail-wearing mannequins. We scampered over to it, quick as mice. Inside, in the angle between three windows, was a little table holding one of Mrs.Wren’s potted plants. Vanity stood on the table. I put my heels on the window casement but the ledge was precarious, so I put my hands against the window opposite to support my weight.

在两个穿着盔甲的假人之间,是朝外的窗户,窗户凹室前悬挂着一块帏帐.我们像老鼠一样地穿过了它.在里面,三个窗口间的角落里有一张小桌子,桌子上放着瑞文女士的盆栽.瓦妮特站在桌上.我用脚后跟站在窗扉上,但是窗架并不牢固,所以我抓住窗户来支撑我的体重.


This required Vanity to crouch into a ball so that I could lean across her.

瓦妮特必须倦缩成一团,让我能靠向她.


There were actually two sets of men’s footsteps, and a clattering of dog’s nails on the floorboards.

外面确切地传来两个男人的脚步声,还有狗链在地板上拖动的哗啦声.


“Who’s there?” growled Mr. Glum. His boots made little creaking noises on the carpet and the floor boards. We could hear the deep, slow breathing of his great mastiff dog, the rattle of its neck chain. We saw the splash of light from an electric torch pass back and forth. There was an inch or two of clearance beneath the drapes; the light shone clear.

"谁在那里?"格罗姆先生咆哮着.他的靴子在地毯和地板上发出叽叽声.我们能听到他的大獒犬发出沉重,缓慢的呼吸.我们看到从一支手电桶中发出的光在扫来扫去.手电的光照亮了窗帘下一到两英尺的间隙.


The other set of footsteps was sharp and crisp. They clattered as if steel soles had been affixed to the bottom of the boots, click-clack, in time with the clockwork.

另一个脚步声尖利而有节奏.它们的声音听上去就想鞋底贴了钢片一样,噼--啪--噼--啪,就想时钟一样.


“Eyah, ’tis you, Doctor. You give a body a fright, walking along without no light, in the dark. What would you be doing astirring at this hour, sir?”

"呀,是你,医生.你在黑暗中一个人没点光亮地走路,让人吓一跳.你这个时候出来做什么呢?先生?"


Dr. Fell’s precisely measured nasal tones answered him: “All things must be in order before the Visitors and Governors manifest tomorrow, Grendel. An Envoy from the Pretender will be in attendance, and no doubt the True Heir will force the Visitors to make a final disposition of our charges.”

费尔医生用他那非常标准的鼻音回答他:"在明天访客和地方官出现之前,所有事都必须准备好,格伦德尔.有一个觊觎王位者的使节也会出席,无疑,真正的继承人会强迫来访者对我们的指示作出最后的决定.


“I want the redhead. She were capering and flaunting at me today at the breakfas’ hour, and giving me the eye. Ever since she were twelve year old, I’ve set my cap for her. She’s to be mine. I have the skull of a preacher I kill’t set on a post at the bottom of my well, and he can do the service. I kill’t him clean, so that makes him still a holy man, right?”

"我想要那个红头发的.今天早上吃早餐的时候她挑逗我,还对我抛媚眼.自从她十二岁的时候,我就在追求她.她是我的.我的井底有一个我干掉的教士的头骨,他可以主持婚礼.我利落地干掉他的,所以他仍然是个圣洁的人,对吧?"


“The disposition of our charges is not a matter within our discretion, my dear Grendel. I, for one, can only operate within the latitude allowed by my maker’s instruction. Had I free will in the matter, certainly there are interesting experiments I would perform on all of them. It is a crime against science that such specimens will escape from the anatomy scalpel!”

"对我们的指示的控制不在我们的判断能力之内,我亲爱的格伦德尔.举例来说,我只能在我的造物指示的范围内作手术.让我自由去做就会带来麻烦,当然,如果我可以去做的话,那些都是很有趣的实验.这是违反科学的犯罪,这些实验体会从解剖刀下逃走!"


“Nonetheless, sir, the redhead were promised me. I heard a voice in the wood.”

"虽然如此,先生,红头发那位答应了给我.我听到树林里的声音."


“Did you recognize this voice?”

"你认出了这个声音吗?"


“Naw, not at all, sir.”

"没有,完全没有,先生."


“Then, on what grounds do you conclude that this person or persons had authority to treat with the matter, may I ask?”

"那么,在什么基础上你推测这个或这些人有权利处理这个问题, 我可以问吗?"


“A damn fine question, Doctor, and one where’s I got a set and goodly answer.”

"真他妈是个好问题,医生,对于这个我有一个漂亮的回答."


“Please share it, my dear Grendel.”

"那就请分享它,我亲爱的格伦德尔."


“I figger that if’n it were someone trying to trick me, he would’f em-personated some voice what was known to me. As this were no voice known to me, then it were no one trying to trick me. Asides, I were dead drunk at the time, it being Sunday morning, when what’s I’m off duty.”

"我假设如果有人想要试图耍我,那他就会装作是我熟悉的声音.既然没有我认识的声音,那么就没有人在耍我.另外,我那时候喝得烂醉,那是礼拜天早上,在我下班的时候."


“That is, perhaps, not the most reliable and cogent test of authenticity. Have you approached the Headmaster? He has given us all strict orders to communicate with him immediately if any of our original principals attempt to contact us.”

"那可能不是最可靠和最有力的真实性检验.你有告诉校长吗?他给了我们严格的命令,任何我们的最终首长试图联系我们的时候,都要立刻和他通话."


“Brrr! I ain’t going no damn where near that one, if’n I can help it. You talk to the Headmaster. He respekt you, he does. You ain’t show no fear of his kind.”

"哦!我他妈的没有走进那个东西,如果我能做到的话.你和校长去说.他尊重你,他真的尊重你.你对他的和蔼不会表现出害怕."

“It is not an emotion I have been instructed to suffer.”

"我没有被命令去承受那种感觉."


My arms were beginning to tell me I had not picked the most comfortable posture to support my weight. I am sure Vanity was having similar problems, folded in double above a leafy plant, which threatened to rattle at her least breath. We held our breaths and waited. It reminded me of those medieval tortures where witches were strapped into various positions and unable to move. And Vanity and I were in the role of the witches.

我的手臂开始告诉我,我没有选择最舒服的姿势来维持我的体重.我肯定瓦妮特也有类似的问题,在一盆阔叶植物上缩着身体让她只能急促地小声呼吸.我们屏住呼吸等待着.这让我想起那些中世纪的刑罚,女巫被用皮带绑成各种各样的姿势不能移动.现在瓦妮特和我在扮演那些女巫的角色.


“Well, if’n that’s all, Doctor . . .”

"好吧,如果那样的话,医生..."


“I do admit to a curiosity, Mr. Glum. I distinctly heard the clock operation suspend itself. If I may ask, were you the party who interrupted the movements of the clock, and, if so, for what purpose did you do this?”

"我得承认我的好奇心,格罗姆先生.我清楚地听到钟自己停了一段时间.如果我可以问的话,你是中断钟运行的那个人吗?并且,如果是的话,你这样做的目的是什么?"


“Eyah? I were thinkin’ you did it.”

"呀?我还以为是你做的."


“An unwarranted assumption. As your own finely honed senses no doubt imparted to you, I walked up from the Portrait Gallery while you were within view of the clock, and therefore could not have been at that spot at the time when it was meddled with, absent a certain amount of brisk jogging, which, I hope you will agree, is not in keeping with the dignity of my profession.”

"没有根据的推测.你自以为是的判断力无疑误导了你,当你在看着钟的时候,我正从肖像走廊过来,因此当它被人乱动的时候我不可能在现场,至于事先跑开,我希望你会同意,这和我高贵的职业并不一致."


“Hoy. Hum. We should look around. Of course, we sat here jawing for minute atop minute, so the scamps may be well away by now.”

"嗬.嗯.我们应该四处看看.当然,我们坐在这里聊了几分钟,所以那些流氓现在已经跑了."


“You have your suspicions, then?”

"那么,你有你的怀疑?"


“Doctor, you is a bright fellow, I know. Here on the grounds there are five of us, our servants and our creatures, and some human beings what teach some of the classes. Who do you s’pose would be sneaking and spying around in the wee hours?It’s Colin, I’ll warrant, maybe the priggish Victor, or the sly one what don’t talk much.”

"医生,你是一个聪明的人,我知道.这个地方只有我们五个人,我们的仆人和我们的造物,和一些教授某些课程的人类.你猜谁会在凌晨偷偷在互近调查?是科林,我可以保证,也许是自负的维克托,或者是那个不多说话的狡猾的家伙."


“May I suggest, then, my dear Grendel, that we have Lelaps scent around the base of the clock? He can tell us who passed by here. Meanwhile, I will check the reading of the hand against my pocket watch, which will enable us to deduce—if both timepieces had been in perfect synchronicity to begin with—how long the grandfather clock was interrupted in operation. The difference between the two times, you see . . .”

"那么,亲爱的格伦德尔,我可以建议我们让勒那普在钟的底部嗅一嗅吗?他能告诉我们谁路过过这里.同时,我会和我的怀表对一下钟的时间,它能让我们推测--如果两个钟的时间一开始是完全同步的话--落地摆钟中断运行了多长时间.两个时间的差,你看..."


“Your pardon, sir, but old Lelaps can’t talk no more. All these years in the sunlight have robbed the voice clean out of him. He misses the shadows of the Darker World. The trees there are a proper size, and blot up the sun; and he’s a bit bigger himself, deep in the wood. I don’t think he’s going to talk.”

"请您原谅,先生,但是老勒那普不能再说话了.这些年暴露在阳光下夺去了它的声音.它没有得到黑暗世界的阴影.吸收阳光的树木都差不多大,而他在树林深处有一点大了.我不认为他还能说话."

But there was a cough, and the breathing of the huge hound stopped, and then a breathy whisper came, hoarse, and sounding just as a dog would sound if dogs could talk.

但是随着一声咳嗽,那条大猎犬的呼吸声停了下来,然后响起嘶哑的,喘息的低语,就像一只能说话的狗发出的声音.


“Two walked here, light of foot, slim and fair. One has hair of sunlight-hue, one as red as flame. The first is a Prelapsarian, from time before the Fall of Man; the second is the Daughter of a King, Alcinuous his name. Neither bears scent of any crime to merit the fate Fates have assigned. Perhaps they are near; or yet perhaps far. Perhaps they will recall what Lelaps did, or did not do, when they have the ascending star.”

"两个人走过这里,踮着脚,身材佼好.一个的头发是金黄色,一个的头发像火焰一样红.第一个是Prelapsarian,来自人类堕落前的时代;第二个是一位国王的女儿,他的名字是Alcinuous.两个都没有命运女神赋予的罪恶气息.也许他们在附近;也有可能在远处.也许他们记起了勒那普做过了什么,也许不记得,当他们拥有上升的星星的时候.


“Up now, me bully!” said Mr. Glum. “If you have the scent, go find them! Go!”

"快起来,我的恶棍!"格罗姆先生说."如果你闻到了气味,就去找他们!快去!"


We heard the noise of the chain rattling, and a scuffling sound. Mr. Glum was no doubt booting the dog in the rear. The dog growled a bit, but nothing further happened.

我们听见的链条滚动和一阵混乱的声音,格罗姆先生无疑踢了了狗的屁股.那条狗小声咆哮了一下,但是就没有再做什么.


Dr. Fell said in a polite and distant voice: “I have a chemical in my office which may render the beast more pliant.”

费尔医生说用冷漠而客气的语调说:"我办公室里有一种药可能让畜生更加顺从."


“Garn! (He just want the redhead for himself, don’t he?) Well, she’s not for you!”

"接着说下去!(他只是想要红头发那个,不是吗?)好吧,她不是你的!"


“I suppose the matter is moot, my dear Grendel. All we need do is inform Mrs. Wren that her charges are absent from their beds. This permits us to levy a punishment. Although, I must admit that antics of this type are the very things which, should they be discovered by the Board of Visitors and Governors,might lead to decapitation, defenestration, or crucifixion for all of us. This whole matter would have been more easily arranged if, from the first, we had pretended to be a hospital for the criminally insane, or a penitentiary, rather than an orphanage.”

我认为问题是审议会,我亲爱的格伦德尔.所有我们应该做的是通知瑞文女士,她管理的那些孩子离开了她们的床.这能让我们给她们一个惩罚.虽然,我必须承认这类古怪的事是很重要的,如果他们被监事会和地方官发现,可能会让我们所有人都被处死,扔到大街上或者钉上十字架.这整件事都可以安排得更简单,如果一开始,我们假装是一所精神病罪犯医院,或者教养所,都比一所孤儿院要强."


“Oh, to be sure, Doctor. To be sure. No one would cock an eye at a jailhouse full of babies and toddlers, no one at all. Har har. We should’ve just kept them in the pantry in my mother’s house far beneath the lake water, like what my folk wanted.”

"噢,当然,医生.当然.没有人会盯着一所全是孩子和刚会走路的婴儿的监狱,根本没有人会.哈哈.我们应该把他们关在我妈妈那间在湖水底下的食品室里去,就想我的子民期望的那样."


“Originally, we thought the imposture would be needed for a few months, perhaps a year at most. No one foresaw these unfortunate events. It is a shame we were not allowed to kill them once they reached puberty. We certainly do not have the facilities for dealing with fully matured Uranians.”

"最初,我们认为这种伪装只需要几个月,也许最多一年.没有人预见这些不幸的事.不允许我们在他们成长到青春期的时候杀死他们真是遗憾.我们肯定没有可能对付完全成熟的Uranians."

“Aye, well, there’s no help for it. Even Lelaps is turning against us. Let’s go wake Mrs. Wren.”

"是啊,好吧,现在说这些已经没有用了.甚至勒那普都和我们敌对了.我们去叫醒瑞文女士吧."


And they moved off down the corridor, loud footstomps and sharp staccato footfalls. We continued to hold our breath and hold our positions till the silence was complete.

然后他们走下了走廊,响亮的跺脚声和尖利而不连贯的脚步声.我们继续屏住呼吸并保持着我们的姿势,直到完全安静下来.


Then we both collapsed on top of the potted plant, and knocked over the little table. The drape was flung wide by the fall, and dirt from the pot was scattered in a fan across the carpet. Vanity was laying atop me, her face slack with fear at the huge echoes we had raised, and she said, “We must agree never to tell Victor about this.”

然后我们两个都虚脱地倒在阔叶盆栽上,还撞到了小桌子.窗帘由于我们摔倒而被大大地扯开,花盆里的泥土在地毯上程扇形地洒开.瓦妮特躺在我的身上,她的脸被我们弄出来的大大的回声吓得呆呆的,她说,"我们必须同意永远不告诉维克托这些."


The clatter and noise we had made was so loud, that we ran pell-mell to the front doors, yanked them open, closed them behind us, and threw ourselves headlong over the railing into the bushes to one side of the Main Hall’s stairs.

我们弄出来的声响太大了,于是我们慌忙地跑到了大门,拉开它,然后关上,一头爬过栏杆跳到大厅一旁的灌木从中.


We held silence for an endless time, while Mr. Glum’s electric torch came back, playing across windows of the Main Hall.

当格罗姆先生的手电桶又照回来,在大厅的窗户上来回照的时候,我们保持安静了一段无穷的时间.


He opened the door and peered out into the cold moonlight.

他打开了门,在寒冷的月光中盯着外面看.


His giant mastiff came bounding out, looked between the marble pilings of the rail, and cocked his head to one side. He seemed to grin. He was looking right at us.

他的大猎犬跳了出来,在栏杆的大理石桩之间看,并把它的头竖向一边.它看上去像是在笑.它正看着我们.


Vanity and I just stared back at him.

瓦妮特和我也盯这它看.


The dog threw back his head, and gave tongue.

那只狗把头退了回去,伸出舌头.


Mr. Glum, stumping up from behind, said, “You scent ’em boy? You got ’em?”

格罗姆先生从后面走上来,说,"你闻到了,恩,孩子?你闻到了,恩?"


Howling, the dog now raced away across the lawn, going South, toward the blacksmith sheds.

那只狗嚎叫起来,跑着穿过了草坪,跑向南方,铁匠工棚的方向.

15.
We crawled on all fours in the other direction, our hands slowly getting numb with the frost. Eventually we got to our feet and ran across the North Lawn to the nearest copse of trees.

15.

我们四肢着地爬到了另一边,手渐渐被霜冻得失去知觉.最后,我们站了起来跑过北草坪到最近的灌木林里.


I turned to Vanity. My breath came in cold plumes. “Not tell Victor about what? About the talking dog? We have to tell about that.”

我转向瓦妮特.我的呼吸凝成了白雾."不告诉瓦妮特什么?那个会说话的狗吗?我们必须告诉他那个."


“And I cannot believe his first name is Grendel. What kind of name is Grendel Glum?”

"我不相信他的名字是格伦德尔.格伦德尔.格罗姆是一个什么样的名字?"

“What kind of name is Vanity Fair?”

"瓦妮特.费尔是一个什么样的名字?"


“Better than Vanity Glum! I don’t want to have a severed head on a post do my wedding. No, we can certainly tell Victor all of that. We just can’t tell him how easily we were caught, knocking the plant over, stopping the clock, all that stuff. The official version is, we were cleverer than the Scarlet Pimpernel, agreed?”

"比瓦妮特.格罗姆要好!我可不想让一个放在柱子上的头来主持我的婚礼.不,我们得告诉维克托所有那些.我们只是不能告诉他我们几乎被抓到,打翻了花盆,弄停了钟,所有这类的事.官方的版本是,要比Scarlet Pimpernel聪明,同意吗?"


“We should go back. If we are found in bed when Mrs. Wren comes, then we might not be punished.”

"我们得回去.如果瑞文女士发现我们在床上,那我们可能不会被惩罚."


“It’s probably too late already, Amelia! Dr. Fell went to go get Mrs. Wren minutes and minutes ago!”

"可能已经太晚了,阿米莉娅!费尔医生好几分钟前就去找瑞文女士了!"


“You know how long it takes to get her awake when she’s been drinking. Come on. We can make it. What other evidence do they have that it was us? I mean, it sounds like they’re pretty skeptical. They’ll think the talking dog was lying.”

"你知道她喝醉的时候叫醒她要多长时间.来吧.我们可以作到.他们还有什么其他证据证明是我们?我的意思是,他们语气听上去有一点怀疑.他们会认为那只会说话的狗在说谎."


“Say that again.”

"再说一遍."


“Say what again?”

"再说什么?"


“They’re skeptical. They’ll think the talking dog was lying.”

"他们在怀疑.他们会认为那只会说话的狗在说谎."

16.
Vanity and I put all our faith in speed, and did not even try to be quiet. We ran back to the Main Hall. I arrived long before she did. As we agreed, I did not wait for her, but pushed aside the pendulum and stepped into the clock. The panel had not been slid shut (how had Glum missed seeing that?) so I was able to slide through without stopping the clock.

16.

瓦妮特和我以最快的速度,甚至都没有试图保持安静.我们跑回了大厅.我比她先到很多.按照我们约定的,我不等她,避开钟摆爬进钟里.面板并没有关上(格罗姆怎么会没看见的?)所以我能不弄停钟就穿过去.


I heard the noises of something crawling after me in the tunnels. I dared not call out to discover if it was Vanity, in case it was not. In the fear and stale air and utter darkness of the blind labyrinth, however, I said my prayers to the Archangel Gabriel, and told him that I wanted to meet him some day, but not yet.

我听见在隧道里有什么东西在我后面爬.我不敢叫她来确定是不是瓦妮特,万一那不是的话.伴随着害怕,在迷宫腐臭的空气和黑暗中,实际上,我说过我想大天使加百利祈祷,告诉他有一天我想见到他,但是还没有.


I could see, in the distance, the square of moonlight indicating that the little secret panel was open. I could see a bit of the girls’ dorm, and could hear someone at the door. The key was scraping in the lock.

我能看到,在远处,那块方形的月光标志着那个秘密小面板还开着.我能看到女生宿舍的一点点,还能听到有人在门边.钥匙在锁里转动.


I won the world’s women’s championship for the hundredmeter crawl in the next two seconds, as well as the women’s across-the-bedroom broad jump. I yanked off my cap and pulled the covers up to my nose just as the door swung open, and an angle of lamplight fell across my bed.

接下来的两秒,我打破了女子"百米爬行"和女子"穿越卧室跳远"的世界记录.当门打开时,我正好扯下我的帽子,把被单拉到鼻子,一束灯光照到我的床上.


Here was Mrs. Wren, blinking and looking as irritable as her kindly face was capable of looking. I could see the thin, tall silhouette of Dr. Fell behind her. The lamplight caught his round,rimless spectacles, turning them opaque, and gleamed against the short brush of his white hair, against his pallid skin, so as to make him look like a thing made of metal, with lenses instead of eyes.

是瑞文女士,可以看到她眯着眼睛以她和蔼的脸上最烦躁的神情在看.我能看到费尔医生瘦高的轮廓在她身后.灯光照在他的圆形无边眼镜上,让它们变得不透明,在他的白色短发和苍白的皮肤衬托下,他看上去想是金属做的东西,用镜头取代了眼睛.

I tried to impersonate a yawn, but it came out so fake and forced, that I was sure Mrs. Wren was going to break out laughing on the spot. I was sure that Dr. Fell was going to smile at how foolish my attempts to trick them were, and he would no doubt make a small gesture with his hand; then Mr. Glum would come in, and stave in my skull with a shovel, and have my bloody corpse stuffed in a bag and taken out with the morning rubbish.

我试图假装打个哈欠,但是表现的太强迫,太假了,我肯定瑞文女士会当场笑出来.我肯定费尔医生会嘲笑我有多么蠢想要欺骗他们,他无疑会作上一个手势让瑞文女士走了进来,用一个铁铲敲开我的头骨,把我血淋淋的尸体塞到袋子里面和早晨的垃圾一起扔出去.


None of that happened. Instead, Mrs. Wren said, “Sorry to wake you, my ducklings.”

但是我想象的并没有发生.取而代之的是,瑞文女士说,"很抱歉吵醒你,我的小鸭子."


I tried to impersonate a sleepy voice, and, again, failed miserably.

我试着假装刚睡醒时的声音,而有一次悲惨地失败了。

“Wha—” (fake yawn) “—wha’sa’matter Mrrs. Wen?”

"什--"(假装打哈欠)"-什么事瑞文女士?"


Dr. Fell, whose night vision was apparently better than most, said, “I do not detect that Miss Fair is in her bed.”

费尔医生,他的夜视能力明显比大多数人要好,说道,"我没有发现费尔小姐在她的床上."


I said, “She’s curled up with me, on account of it is so cold.Her head is just under the cover. Should I wake her? It is so hard for us to fall asleep in this terrible cold. Can’t we have a fire in our room?”

我说,"她和我缩在一起,由于太冷了.她的头在被子底下.要我叫醒她吗?在这么冷的天我们可不容易睡着.我们可以在屋子里生一堆火吗?"


Mrs. Wren said in her bleary, unsteady voice, “Now, now. You just quiet down, my gosling. Dr. Fell just has a bit of constipation or something, and maybe is imagining too much.Come away, Doctor, we’ll wake up Cook and get something for your bowels, there’s a nice whippet!”

瑞文女士用她那朦胧的,颤动的声音说到,"现在,现在.你安静下来,我的小鹅.费尔医生只是有一点便秘或者其他什么,这可能让他想象得太多了.走吧,医生,我们去作点东西来添满你的肠胃,这里有只漂亮的惠比特犬.


Dr. Fell stepped forward with a stiff-legged stride. “I sense a magnetic anomaly in the chamber. If you will permit me to enter for an inspection . . . ?”

费尔医生向前走了一大补."我感到房间里有地磁异常.你能否允许我进去检查...?"


He was at the doorway when Mrs. Wren said, “Halt! You may not pass my wards without permission!”

他到门口时瑞文女士说到,"站住!你不能在没有允许的情况下进我的监护区域."


I heard, very dimly, the notes of a violin in the distance. It was Miss Daw, the music teacher, in the conservatory. But why would she be playing now, at this hour of the night? The music was haunting and dim, as if it had come from very far away, and I could not shake the feeling that Mrs. Wren had summoned it.

我听到,非常微弱地,在远处有小提琴的音符响起.是道恩小姐,那个音乐老师,在音乐室里.但是她为什么现在演奏,在晚上的这个时候?音乐的曲子悲伤萦绕,像是从很远的地方飘来,我无法摆脱这个感觉--瑞文女士命令他.

Dr. Fell now stood in the door, his face blank (well, blanker than usual, anyway), making tiny motions with his shoulders and knees. It was very odd, as if he were pinned in place against a glass wall across the door frame.

费尔医生现在站在门里,面无表情(好吧,无论如何,比平常更面无表情),轻微地晃动了一下肩膀和膝盖.动作非常奇怪,就像他被门框上的一块玻璃墙档住了路.


Mrs. Wren said, “The care of the young girls was given to poor Mrs. Wren, long after my darling Robin never came for me again. Year by year, the Headmaster has taken my prerogatives from me, till little enough remains this day. Yet I still have this privilege; no man may step into the girls’ dormitory, not without my say.”

瑞文女士说,"这些小女孩的照看权被给予了可怜的瑞文,在我亲爱的罗宾再也不来我身边很就之后.一年又一年,校长不断地夺去我的特权,到今天只剩下很少了.但是我仍然有这个权利;我不允许的话,没有男人能够进入女生的宿舍.


“There is something odd in the room, my dear Jenny. Further investigation is warranted.”

"这屋子里有什么古怪的东西,我亲爱的珍妮.有理由做更深入的调查."


“My head is a whirl of aches, Doctor. Surely it will wait till morning.”

"我的头有一点头痛的眩晕,医生.肯定会一直持续到早上."


“But if there is something amiss, it is our duty to examine . . .”

"但是如果这里有什么问题,我们有责任检查..."


“Those who set those duties on us are long gone, as you well know. Life is hard, and there is little enough joy in it for anyone, Dr. Fell. Let us let the wee children sleep and dream of fine things, true loves, handsome princes. It is a joy I no longer have, since I lost the key to my dreaming. Come away, come away.”

"就像你知道那样,那些赋予我们职责的人已经远去了.生活如此艰难,任何人都很少有足够的快乐,费尔医生.让我们让这些小孩子睡下并作个好梦吧,真爱,英俊的王子.这是我不在拥有的快乐了,自从我丢失了我梦的钥匙.走吧,走吧."


And the door closed, and the lock turned.

然后门被关上,锁在转动.


Vanity came out of the secret door a moment later and closed it silently behind her.

一会儿之后,瓦妮特从秘密的门中走出来并静静地关上了它.

17.
We climbed back into bed together, and lay there discussing the night’s events.

我们一起爬进了被窝,躺在床上讨论这个晚上的事情.


I said to her, “That secret passage made two left turns and dropped about six feet. It came out, however, at the Main Hall, in the West Wing, about three stories below us. How was that possible?”

我对她说,"那条秘密通道向左转了两次然后朝下降了六尺.可是,它的出口,在大厅的西侧,我们下面的三层楼.这怎么可能呢?


Vanity said, “The turns may not have been right angles; the floor may not be level. What if it sloped slightly all the way to the West?”

瓦妮特说,"弯道可能不是直角;地板可能不是水平的.如果它所有的路都略微向西倾斜会怎么样?"


“That wall is not thick enough to have that crawl space inside it. Look. There are windows above the gargoyle heads. Those casements are not six feet thick.”

"那面墙不够厚,内部能容得下一个槽隙.看.那些怪兽头上的窗户.那些窗扉没有六尺厚."


Vanity yawned; a real, sincere-sounding yawn, and said, “I think things like feet and measurement and all right angles being equal are not real unless you pay attention to them. If you don’t know for sure what shape the walls are, they could be any shape, couldn’t they?”

瓦妮特打着哈欠;一个真正的,毫无虚假的哈欠,说道,"我想像英尺,测量和所有直角这类的事情不是真正相等,除非你注意它们.如果你不确信那些墙的形状,它们就可能是任何形状,是吧?"


“You are saying this mansion is multidimensional?”

"你是说这座大厦是多维的?"


“I don’t even know what that word means,” she said.

"我都不知道那个词是什么意思,"她说.


I lay in bed trying to calculate what degree of curvature in the fourth dimension a plane figure with two right angles would need to have in order to have lines built on those angles also be at right angles with each other. It occurred to me that two lines could be drawn on the surface of a sphere, intersecting at right angles at the North and South poles, and still be parallel at the equator. A third line following the equator also would intersect at right angles. If the mansion stood on a hypersphere slightly greater in diameter than the mansion grounds, a person could move from any point to any other with what, in three-space, would seem to be right angles.

我躺在床上,试图计算在四维空间的弯曲程度,一个平面上需要有两个直角,才能让组成直角的线相互之间也成直角.它让我想到在一个球体的表面可以画出两条线,两条线在南北两极相交成直角,但是在赤道上仍然是平行线.第三条延着赤道的线也会和它们相交成直角.如果这座大厦建造在一个比地基更多维的超球面上,一个人就可以从任意在三维空间内看上去是直角的地方从一点移动到另一点.


How many equal three-dimensional spaces would a hypersphere be cut into by hyperplanes at right angles to each other?

一个超球面被切割成相互垂直的超平面会产生多少三维空间?

A circle can be cut into four pie quadrants; a globe into eight round-bottomed pyramids . . . Was it sixteen . . . ?

一个圆可以被切成四个象限;一个球体可以被切割成八个圆锥...还是十六个...?


I was trying to visualize how to construct a tesseract around a four-dimensional sphere when I drifted away to sleep.

当我渐渐睡着时,我还在想象在一个四维球体周围怎样构造一个超正方体.

 


TAG: 小说翻译

 

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